Thrifting – An Art

Thrifting – An Art

Thrifting is an art. Whether it’s the search for summer sizzlers or winter warmers, it’s an activity that became popular amongst Gen Z (and now beyond) in the past few of years. Essentially, thrifting is buying gently loved clothing from at flea markets and such places at a discounted price. You should try it – often, you’ll find high-end and vintage clothing for much lower and affordable prices. In the past, the idea of buying second-hand clothing carried the taboo of uncleanliness and poverty. However, the rise of middle and upper-class consumers who have switched and begun thrifting, and have contributed their amazing no-longer-worn collections to the mix, has prompted this once unpleasantly-seen activity to become a widely-accepted and lucrative (for your wallet and wardrobe) trend.

No doubt, the idea of thrifting as a go-to option for clothes amongst the wider public was started by teens or members of Gen Z. Research shows that Gen Z consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues. In particular, clothing companies are targets of this, especially those considered fast fashion, which contribute largely to clothing waste and pollution. As a result, thrifting has become an eco-conscious method of shopping for clothes, while still being able to keep up with fashion trends (especially with the recent popularity of vintage fashion). Ultimately, the switch to thrift shopping can be attributed to wanting to make a difference in the fight against climate change and the increasing pressure to stay up-to-date with social media trends.

It is evident that gently loved clothing shopping is an ideal activity to help our environment. But it’s also important that thrifters who are thrifting as a privilege and not a necessity can do it consciously, in order to help the environment and not put anyone else at a disadvantage. Here are 3 main strategies to ensure you are thrifting consciously this chilly season:

  1. Don’t do huge hauls: shop mindfully and only purchase items that you know you will love to wear. Buying massive amounts of clothes undermines the real reason people thrift in the first place—to shop ethically and eliminate the cycle of disposable fashion.

  2. Choose your thrift venues wisely: look for vintage markets or thrift outlets in your local areas that are often there for the purpose of thrifting as a hobby and to help with your wardrobe overhaul bottom line.

  3. Only buy if finding the outfits makes you feel good (ethically) and adds to the ‘you’ you want to portray. Have a look through your wardrobe and determine where the gaps are – only buy to fill those gaps so you don’t find yourself with an overloaded wardrobe; having bought on a whim and after the shopping high fades, you realise you need to onsell (or heaven-forbid, dump); or overwhelmed. A well choreographed (or a capsule) wardrobe is surprisingly easy to manage on those busy mornings!

Extracted from an article by Asima Hudani (Oct 2020)

——————————

It’s all about you: rework your wardrobe

It’s all about you: rework your wardrobe

Have you heard the term – curated closet? In her book, The Curated Closet, Berliner, Anuschka Rees talks about not following trends or buying into a standard list of wardrobe essentials or must-haves. Instead, it’s about creating your wardrobe to work perfectly for your style and life. Having a wardrobe that is about you and not about fast fashion or trends is a great start to a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe. The idea is that if you’re buying clothes that really are ‘you’ you’re probably going to want to keep them for years. It’s a way to break the cycle and stop buying into the ever-revolving fast fashion trends. So, rework your wardrobe to work with you not against you!

 

Closer to home, Maroubra-based Wendy Mak is committed to the simplification of wardrobes. In Mak’s The Capsule Wardrobe: 1000 outfits from thirty pieces, she introduces you to 30 wardrobe essentials – tops, bottoms, footwear, and accessories – to create your ultimate mix-n-match wardrobe. You can find her ideas at WendyMak.com.

It’s not about not heading out on a fun shopping trip with your girlfriend or daughter – it’s great retail therapy and at times, just simply a good laugh.

The curated closet is a wardrobe that’s perfectly tailored to your unique personal style and your life. It contains everything you need to feel confident and inspired every day – no more and no less. It is not based on trends, style typologies or a one-size-fits-all list of wardrobe essentials. Your life isn’t the same as everyone else’s, so why should your closet be? Anuschka Rees

Rees says, know you colour palettes and make distinctions between accent colours versus neutrals, basics pieces, key pieces, and accent pieces. Accessorise with bangles, beads, earrings, scarves, nail polish, lipstick or even hair colour. While the goal is not to complicate, it is to help you to have a plan so you don’t waste time or money on items that stand out like the proverbial, that you might aspire to but never get the chance (or, to be honest with yourself, you feel comfortable) to wear.  By getting an idea of what colours you like and for what types of pieces, it allows for a lifetime of simplicity.  Rees explains that by zeroing in on your own unique style, you are never caught up in fashion trends. It’s great to update your wardrobe every few years, and as we all know, some things never go out of style. White t-shirts and jeans will always exist, so will basic black.  Mix things up to avoid being a carbon copy of everyone else. Enjoy running away from the pack.  It’s one less stressor in life! As Rees says, being fashionable is totally optional – you get to choose.

Mak suggests, try this – 30 pieces to create an outfit a day for 30 days. This will establish your absolute wants vs needs hanging in your cupboard and folded in your drawers. Here’s a twist on Wendy’s guide to kick you off:

5 x skirts or pants: black textured; basic black; soft pleated/tailored; white or grey; statement
2 x jeans (black and blue wash)
6 x tops: charcoal; ivory; light grey; a bold colour that suits; a standout piece; black
1 x bodysuit in a complimentary colour (amazing how versatile this can be)
1 x statement shirt
2 x camis (everyday and silky/satin)
3 x jackets or if not needed, 3 more tops or dresses: navy; black; statement
1 x black coat or waterfall cardigan
3 x bags: work; weekend; statement coloured
6 x shoes: black flats; weekend street shoes/white runners; black ankle boots; patent heels or flats; statement coloured heels or flats; print/suede heels or flats

Anuschka makes a great analogy comparing fashion to music. You wouldn’t force yourself to listen to a song because it’s in the charts and music ‘insiders’ tell you it’s popular. You listen to the music you like and enjoy. So why not do the same with clothes – buying things you like and enjoy wearing rather than what’s ‘hot right now’. There is absolutely no point in buying clothes which don’t work for your lifestyle.

Fashion is a form of art, and you want your clothes to look good, but you also need them to feel good and be practical because you spend your life in them. You have stuff to do, places to go, and people to meet. A functional wardrobe is one that supports you in all that you do, rather than making your life harder.

If you enjoy a visual guide, there are tons of curated wardrobe flowcharts to help. Find your own; one that suits you, or, venue better, create your own.

Discovering your personal style and building a versatile wardrobe will mean you always have something to wear. Your style will likely continue to change and evolve. A reworked wardrobe doesn’t restrict you, it is one which grows and evolves with you. After all, it’s all about you!

The Sustainable Edit; Anuschka Rees; and Wendy Mak

——————————

10 sassy quotes on sustainable and fast fashion

10 sassy quotes on sustainable and fast fashion

Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  — Livia Firth, ethical fashion advocate and founder of sustainable fashion consultancy Eco-Age

As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy. — Emma Watson, actress and ethical fashion advocate

Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you express by the way you dress and the way you live. —Gianni Versace, fashion designer

What if we started by slowing down and not consuming so much stuff, just because it’s there and cheap and available. It’s amazing how that process makes sense financially, it makes sense ethically, it makes sense environmentally. — Andrew Morgan, filmmaker and director of ‘The True Cost’

One day we’ll wake up and Green will not be the new black, it will be the new invisible. Meaning, no longer will sustainable be the exception or something that’s considered au courant; instead it will be a matter of course – something that all designers incorporate into their design ethos. — Summer Rayne Oakes, world’s first ‘eco’ model and serial ecopreneur. From her book Style, Naturally

Consumer demand can revolutionise the way fashion works as an industry. If everyone started to question the way we consume, we would see a radically different fashion paradigm. — Carry Somers and cofounder of Fashion Revolution. From Safia Minney’s book Slow Fashion: aesthetic meets ethics

When you wear vintage, you never have to worry about showing up in the same dress as someone else.
— Jessica Alba, actress, author and entrepreneur. From her book The Honest Life

Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will. — Anne Klein, fashion designer

Become an active citizen through your wardrobe. — Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age

Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear. — Elizabeth L. Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.

Jennifer Nini 2018 – ecowarriorprincess

——————————

Baby steps towards doing your sustainable thing

Baby steps towards doing your sustainable thing

This year, Fashion Revolution Week comes close on the heels of Earth Day and is pathing the way for the Slow Fashion Challenge month of May. What an ideal time to take a look for the small (or large…whatever takes your fancy!) part we can play to make a difference.

The first and easiest place to look is your own wardrobe. You probably already know some of the hacks—if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it, or turn all your hangers around and if, in 6 months, you’ve not turned them around once you’ve worn an item, toss it….and so on. But those suggestions don’t quite cut it for when you have, say, a classic vintage piece or a truly unique garment that you know you’ll wear (one day), but just don’t have regular use for.

Treat your wardrobe like a capsule collection. You may love the colourful array of clothes greeting you every time you open your wardrobe doors, but how often do you still wear that day-glow romper that you just had to have several years ago? Most of us have a signature look—essentially, a version of what they look good in and like to wear. But we tend to hang onto extra clothes for that fantasy self. Essentially, an ideal Capsule Wardrobe is 30-40 pieces of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create a feast of outfits. And those numbers include shoes. So, if that means more black, white, navy or other neutral tones than anything and accessorising with colour and classic textile patterns like polka-dots or stripes. That could be unique necklaces, scarves, bangles or earring, a great hairstyle, or a bold lipstick.

Are you holding onto things as representations of your fantasy self or is it really ‘you’?

Return on investment (ROI). Don’t wait for a great the ROI on investment pieces like that designer label piece you bought whilst interstate on a shopping spree….in the moment! Stop it collecting dust and having it collecting you some income.

Edit often. While most people tend to look at the new year to start afresh and par down, it’s easier to take a more fluid approach by editing down constantly. Maybe keep a donation bin close by so you can say Ciao Charlie to clothes when the mood strikes. That way, you get in the habit of paring down so it’s not a huge task to tackle when you finally get up the courage to do it.

Your collateral – the heirloom vintage or unique piece. Finally, we come to that ‘OMG, no way can I ever part with this’ piece. How about offering it up as collateral by sharing the love and lending it to a friend (in return for something you might like of theirs). The garments get the airplay they deserve, and they’re not left gathering dust and faded old memories in the dark.

Ask yourself some questions and be strong in your response to yourself!

    1. How did I feel the last time I wore this?
    2. Is upkeep for this piece a pain? i.e. do I have to iron this every time I wear it, does it easily show wear and tear, is it dry clean only? Is all of the hassle worth it?
    3. Is this a representation of my fantasy self? or will I actually wear it?
    4. Do I need to be a certain weight to wear this and feel good in it?

——————————

That darned wardrobe!

That darned wardrobe!

It’s daunting.  Picture this…

Every morning, racing to keep up because the day is happening all around you. You need to get out the door, still in your pj’s but don’t know what to wear. The weather doesn’t help because it’s chilly right now, but it’s very likely to warm up – or could it snow? (after all, this is Hobart!).

You fling open your wardrobe doors and you’re instantly neck deep, arms flailing as you rummage through, impatiently pushing aside that gorgeous dress you’ll never wear again (how was my waist ever that small?), flicking past those red pants that aren’t ‘my colour’ anymore, and pausing momentarily to (guiltily) contemplate finally wearing that skirt you bought on a whim (it’s bound to go with something, surely….). Then, glancing at the clock, you curse under your breath as you frantically toss it across the floor. With an exasperated sigh, you resign yourself to chucking on that safe and comfortable favourite…again.

And, then, you’re off. But as you swipe up your keys, you swear to yourself that you WILL sort that wardrobe out this weekend and have done with the daily chaos of it all! That was me most days.

Sound familiar? So, the weekend rolls around (much too fast this time) and your bulging wardrobe beckons (coat tails and scarves tauntingly sticking out door cracks, refusing to be tamed).

But where to start? This is equally daunting. 

Here’s my quick and easy 7 step approach to taming your wardrobe.
Step 1 Delay tactics – make a cuppa.
Step 2 Stand staring at the open wardrobe, and whilst sipping on the cuppa, contemplate what’s in its deep dark depths
Step 3 Decide on your motivation
Mine was two-fold: to reduce the clutter and make some dollars to refresh my wardrobe (whilst recouping something on those spontaneous over-spends)
Step 4 Get serious.
Step 5 Do a quick first sweep (don’t be tempted to try anything on, just place in six piles)

Keep. Keep, with some alteration or mending. Maybe. Donate. Throw. Sell.

For many, even making these ‘cull’ decisions can be hard – and that’s a whole other conversation for another day.

Step 6 Have a break, maybe another cuppa (and a chocolate biscuit this time – for the energy to go on, you understand), or take the dog for a walk (oh, wait, I don’t have a dog…but, of course, you might), or go for a brisk walk on the local beach.
Step 7 Back at it – second sweep – revisit the piles in more detail, maybe trying on, but be ruthless!

Keep. Really, absolutely – I wear it often, it will be great for the upcoming dinner/meeting/Christmas party or whatever … If it’s none of that – move it along to another pile.

Keep, with some alteration or mending. Maybe…actually, I’ll never get around to it. Move it along.

Maybe. Nope, I’ve said ‘maybe’ too many times. Move it along.
Donate. Is it good enough to donate or is it pretty worn out/marked/damaged? Over it goes to the ‘throw’ pile.
Throw. Pretty straightforward – but consider recycling first – can it be used as rags, etc.?
Sell. Here’s where preloved clothing markets come in!

Gearing up (excuse the pun!) to sell your preloved clothing.
How I started was by selling some items on eBay – still do and love it. It started off as time consuming and there’s a bit of setting up before it becomes a quick, easy and smooth operation. Mavis the mannequin comes in very handy for this exercise. I’ll present a quick and easy process in another conversation. But always consider, there’s bound to be something that you may want more for than you might get at a preloved market, and eBay can be just the place.

Over the years, I’d sold bits and pieces at markets and garage sales – usually alongside other household goods or knick-knacks. Most of us probably have. But now I wanted to seriously turn my ‘fash into cash’ .


So, one day I dusted down my two clothes racks and assembled them (after the obligatory rummaging around for all the necessary bits and bolts – I always think I’ll remember where I put ‘that thing’. But who am I kidding these days!)? And, ready to go, I did a test run of hanging up all the items in my ‘sell’ pile. Stress-free prep for a preloved market stall.. yet another conversation.

Once the ‘sell’ items were hung on both racks, I found I had an amazing collection of clothes for sale! And after a few ‘oooh, that’s fab, maybe I willkeep it’ false starts, I re-grounded myself (by revisited my motive) and looked up local preloved clothing markets. Then, before getting cold feet, I immediately signed up for a stall. As market day approached, I got washing, ironing and tagging. I thankfully had the terrific help of my very enthusiastic entrepreneurial teen daughter, who, amongst other things, volunteered to write up an extensive inventory! Ready to go…

Away we went and haven’t looked back!

——————————